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and among others, Will Penn the Quaker : * we sat two hours, drinking as good wine as you do ; and two hours more he and I alone; where he heard me tell my
business : entered into it with all kindness; asked for my powers, and read them; and read likewise a memorial I had drawn up, and put it in his pocket to show the queen ; told me the measures he would take ; and, in short, said every thing I could wish ; told me he must bring Mr St Johnt (secretary of state) and me acquainted ; and spoke so many things of personal kindness and esteem for me, that I am inclined half to believe what some friends have told me, that he would do every thing to bring me over. He has desired to dine with me, (what a comical mistake was that,) I mean, he has desired me to dine with him on Tuesday ; and after four hours being with him, set me down at St James's Coffeehouse, in a hackney coach. All this is odd and comical if you consider him and me.
He knew my christian name very well. I could not forbear saying thus much upon this matter, although you will think it tedious. But I will tell you ; you must know, it is fatal # to me to be a scoundrel and a prince the same day : for
of Kinnoul, made a teller of exchequer, August 1711, and a peer of Great Britain, December following.
* The celebrated settler of the colony of Pennsylvania. He was in great fayour with Queen Anne, and often at court. He died at his seat at Rushcomb, near Twyford, in Buckinghamshire, in 1718.
# Afterwards the celebrated Lord Bolingbroke.
I i. e. I am fated to be, &c. We now use the word fatal in a more limited sense; but originally it meant generally that which is fated : Thus Dryden,
O true Plantagenet ! O race divine !
being to see him at four, I could not engage myself to dine at any friend's ; so I went to Tooke, to give him a ballad and dine with him ; but he was not at home; so I was forced to go to a blind chophouse, and dine for tenpence upon gill ale, bad broth, and three chops of mutton ; and then go reeking from thence to the first minister of state. And now I am going in charity to send Steele a Tatler, who is very low of late. I think I am civiller than I used to be ; and have not used the expression of (you in Ireland) and (we in England) as I did when I was here before, to your great indignation.—They may talk of the you know what ; * but, gad, if it had not been for that, I should never have been able to get the access I have had ; and if that helps me to succeed, then that same thing will be serviceable to the church. † But how far we must depend upon new friends, I have learnt by long practice, though I think, among great ministers, they are just as good as old ones. And so I think this important day has made a great hole in this side of the paper; and the fiddle faddles of to-morrow and Monday will make up the rest; and, besides, I shall see Harley on Tuesday before this letter goes.
8. I must tell you a great piece of refinement # of
* These words plainly refer to the “ Tale of a Tub,” for which he had been severely censured by many of his own profession. The wit of that extraordinary performance could not but point the value of the author as a support to the new administration.
+ This is an odd argument. Swift was a zealous churchman, and reasoned, that whatever should procure preferment to one devoted to the interest of the church, would be serviceable to it, although inconsistent with the character of a clergyman.
Swift uses the word here and elsewhere in this journal, to signify an excessive, and even extravagant compliment, or a form of expression intended to impose on the hearer.
Harley. He charged me to come to him often ; I told him I was loth to trouble him in so much business as he had, and desired I might have leave to come at his levee; which he immediately refused, and said, That was not a place for friends to come to. It is now but morn. ing, and I have got a foolish trick; I must say something to MD when I wake, and wish them a good morrow; for this is not a shaving day, Sunday, so I have time enough ; but get you gone, you rogues, I must go write : yes, it will vex me to the blood if any of these long letters should miscarry: if they do I will shrink to half sheets again; but then what will you do to make up the journal ? there will be ten days of Presto's life lost, and that will be a sad thing, faith and troth.- At night. I was at a loss to-day for a dinner, unless I would have gone a great way, so I dined with some friends that board hereabout, as a spunger ; and this evening Sir Andrew Fountaine would needs have me go to the tavern, where, for two bottles of wine, Portugal and Florence, among three of us, we had sixteen shillings to pay ; but if ever he catches me so again, I will spend as many pounds ; and therefore I have put it among my extraordinaries ; but we had a neck of mutton dressed d la Maintenon, that the dog could not eat; and it is now twelve o'clock, and I must go sleep. I hope this letter will go before I have MD's third. Do you believe me? and yet, faith, I long for MD's third too ; and yet I would have it to say, that I write five for two. not fond at all of St James's Coffeehouse, as I used to be. I hope it will mend in winter; but now they are all out of town at elections, or not come from their country houses. Yesterday I was going with Dr Garth to dine with Charles Main, near the Tower, who has an
employment there ; he is of Ireland : the Bishop of Clogher knows him well ; an honest good-natured fellow, a thorough hearty laugher, mightily beloved by the men of wit; his mistress is never above a cook-maid. And so good night, &c.
9. I dined to-day at Sir John Stanley's; my Lady Stanley is one of my favourites : I have as many here as the Bishop of Killala has in Ireland. I am thinking what scurvy company I shall be to MD when I come back : they know every thing of me already : I will tell you no more, or I shall have nothing to say, no story to tell, nor any kind of thing. I was very uneasy last night with ugly, nasty, filthy wine, that turned sour on my stomach.. I must go to the tavern! O, but I told you that before. To-morrow I dine at Harley's, and will finish this letter at my return; but I can write no more now, because of the archbishop : faith it is true ; for I am going now to write to him an account of what I have done in the business with Harley :* and, faith, young women, I will tell you what you must count upon, that I never will write one word on the third side in these long letters.
10. Poor MD's letter was lying so huddled up among papers I could not find it: I mean poor Presto's letter. Well, I dined with Mr Harley to-day, and hope some things will be done ; but I must say no more: and this letter must be sent to the post-house, and not by the bellman. I am to dine again there on Sunday next ; I hope to some good issue. And so now, soon as ever I can in bed, I must begin my sixth to MD, as gravely as if I had not written a word this month : fine doings, faith. Methinks I do not write as I should, because I am not in bed : see the ugly wide lines. God Almighty ever bless you, &c.
* See Swift's letter to Archbishop King, dated 10th October
Faith, this is a whole treatise ; I will go reckon the lines on the other sides. I have reckoned them. *
London, Oct. 10, 1710. So, as I told you just now in the letter I sent half an hour ago, I dined with Mr Harley to-day, who presented me to the attorney-general, Sir Simon Harcourt, with much compliment on all sides, &c. Harley told me he had shown my memorial to the queen, and se
. conded it very heartily; and he desires me to dine with him again on Sunday, when he promises to settle it with her majesty, before she names a governor ; and I protest I am in hopes it will be done, all but the forms, by that time, for he loves the church : this is a popular thing, and he would not have a governor share in it; and, besides, I am told by all hands, he has a mind to gain me over. But in the letter I writ last post (yesterday) to the archbishop, I did not tell him a syllable of what Mr Harley said to me last night, because he charged me to keep it secret ; so I would not tell it to you, but that before this goes, I hope the secret will
Seventy-three lines in folio upon one page, and in a very small hand.